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Fruit Varieties for Western Washington

Compiled by Dr Robert Norton

Dr Robert Norton, former Director of the WSU Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center, devoted much of his career to testing fruit varieties adapted to Western Washington’s modified Mediterranean climate.

Following his retirement from WSU, Dr Norton moved to Vashon Island where he continues to consult with local orchardists.

Dr Norton compiled this list of recommended fruit varieties based on decades of experience, both at the WSU Research Center and in working with fruit growers throughout Western Washington.

There are many fruit varieties that can be grown successfully throughout Western Washington. Some are easy to grow, have pest and disease resistance and can be grown on dwarfing rootstocks for easier maintenance. Others, possibly with superior quality, are more difficult to grow, may require diligent pest and disease contact and may require more sophisticated management strategies.

To make the best decision as to which varieties best suit your particular site, I recommend you obtain the Fruit Handbook for Western Washington (Extension Bulletin 0937) from the Washington State University Bulletin Office: 800-723-1763, or online at http://pubs.wsu.edu. This bulletin describes varieties and culture of most of the fruits that we can grow successfully in this region.

The list below names some of my cultivars, new and old, that may be easier to grow based on their resistance to diseases, or ability to set fruit in our cool, humid climate. All varieties are listed in the approximate order of ripening.

APPLES — Resistant or immune to apple scab

Williams' Pride

Early ripening, red tinged flesh, dessert apple.

Centenial

Naturally dwarf, early eating crab apple.

Honeycrisp

Dual purpose, excellent flavor and texture.

Akane

Striped red, mild flavor, dessert.

Belle de Boskoop

Scab immune, late Oct. ripening, complex flavor.

Bramley Seedling

Comparable to Belle de Boskoop.

Holstein

Complex flavor, sweet tart, dual purpose.

Karmijn de Sonnaville

Requires storage for best quality, dual purpose.

Liberty

Excellent McIntosh type, dessert.

Enterprise

Relatively new, late ripening, disease resistant.

                                                                   

APPLES — Not scab immune but highly desirable

Williams' Pride

Early ripening, red tinged flesh, dessert apple.

Gravenstein

Highly vigorous, scab susceptible, but still worth growing.

Elstar

Excellent for cooking and dessert.

Esopus Spitzenburg

Not scab immune, late ripening.

Honeycrisp

Excellent storage quality, dessert type.

Early Fuji

Dessert apple, good storage.

Macoun 

Ripe mid-late Oct, similar to McIntosh.

Melrose

Ripe Mid-Oct, keeps well.

Spartan

Dessert apple, good storage, medium size.

Red Jonagold

Dual purpose, large size, scab susceptible.

Grimes Golden

Late Ripening, scab susceptibile.

King

Most common old variety, some scab.

APPLE VARIETIES WITH PROBLEMS

Yellow Transparent

Short life, drops, good for sauce and pie.

Gala

Scab

Golden Delicious 

Scab

Ginger Gold

Scab

Empire

Scab

Cameo

Too late maturing.

Pink Lady

Too late maturing.

Granny Smith

Too late maturing.

PEAR (European)

Orcas

Ripe mid-Sept, similar to Bartlett but less prone to disease.

Rescue

Pick mid-Sept, large  fruit, good for canning and fresh eating.

Concorde

Pick early Oct, excellent quality, stores well, productive.

Comice

Pick late-Sept, excellent quality, stores until Christmas.

Conference

Pick early Oct, excellent late keeper.

PEAR VARIETIES WITH PROBLEMS

Bartlett 

Highly susceptible to pear scab (similar to apple scab).

ASIAN PEAR

Shinseiki

Pick early Sept, yellow skin.

Chojuro

Mid to late Sept, russet, tan skin, pick when they taste good from the tree.

PLUM / PRUNE

Methley

Mid to late July, red skin and flesh, sweet, prolific, needs pollenizer e.g. Beauty.

Beauty

Late July to early August, red skin, yellow flesh, preferred to Santa Rosa, which does not set well in our climate.

Imperial Epineuse

Late July to mid August, lavender skin, European plum, semi-freestone, excellent quality.

Shiro

Late July, round, yellow, very juicy, prolific, Japanese plum, eat Fresh.

Italian

August, easy to grow, dual purpose.

PEACH / NECTARINE

Frost

Mid August, leaf curl resistant.

Avalon Pride

Mid August, leaf curl resistant, large and flavorful.

Salish Summer

Leaf curl resistant

Nanaimo

Mid August, leaf curl resistant.

Indian Free

Late summer, leaf curl resistant.

Hardired Nectarine

Excellent quality, but extremely susceptible to leaf curl.

CHERRY – Sweet

Lapins

Mid to late July, self-fruitful, resistant to fruit cracking.

Sweetheart

Late July, self-fruitful, cracking resistant, heavy cropping, especially on dwarfing rootstalks (may need thinning).

The common sweet cherries, Bing and Rainier, can be grown in our area but are highly susceptible to fruit cracking if it rains at harvest time.

CHERRY – Tart (sour)

Montmorency

Standard variety, clear juice.

Surefire

Very precocious and productive – new variety.

APRICOT

Apricots are rarely productive unless we have a warm, dry period during bloom.  They require fungicide sprays or ‘a raincoat’ to control fungus disease of bloom and fruit.

Puget Gold

Low acid variety that seems to set better than other varieties.

Orangered

Beautiful color, excellent quality.

OTHER FRUITS & NUTS

Persimmon

Izu

Paw Paw

Need walls and sunshine.

Aronia

Dark purple juice, very astringent.

Kiwi

Arguta – hardy.
Hayward – large fruit.

Grapes – Table

Interlaken –  seedless (white)
Canadice (pink)
Mars (black)
Venus (blue seedless)

Grapes - Juice

Lynden Blue (Concord type)
Buffalo

cherries

Reprinted by permission, King Conservation District, www.kingcd.org

Fruit Varieties for Western Washington (PDF)